The old saying goes that you get out what you put in. This old adage is that old-school mentality you hear in so many feel-good movies about “wanting something and going to get it!”. There is nothing wrong with that, but as a working professional sometimes you just don’t have the time to be putting in hours of work for something that won’t make a major difference. That’s why we’ve identified 3 of the most common SEO mistakes we see on websites daily, and will tell you exactly how to fix them. The best part is that they’re the low-hanging fruit of the SEO world. They can be found, fixed, and forgotten in an afternoon. These low-effort/high-reward fixes can boost your SEO and you’ll barely break a sweat.

What is a technical SEO problem?

Just to quickly define what we mean by a technical SEO problem:

A technical SEO problem is any issue that is related to the structure of a site and takes a bit of experience to be aware of, uncover, and fix.

That’s a pretty broad definition, but encompasses a lot of the issues that we’re going to face. Let’s get to it.

  1. Indexing Issues

Google is like a vast library whose catalog is governed by a mighty search engine algorithm. When you type something into the search box, you aren’t actually searching “the web” per se, you are actually searching Google’s vast index of the web. If you aren’t indexed, you don’t turn up in the results. Think that’s a basic issue that almost nobody encounters? Think again. We see it routinely here. A website owner might think to himself “why am I not ranking for my brand name or keywords?” and go searching far and wide across the web for answers. Sometimes the hardest questions have the simplest answers.

The fix: go to Google and type in site:{} and you’ll immediately see how many pages on your site are ranking. Ask yourself if that’s the rough number of pages for your site and check to see if any pages you don’t want to rank are ranking or vice versa. While you’re there, you might as well check if:

  • There are any spam pages from a hack
  • Certain page buckets like product pages are correct
  • Any old versions of the site are being mistakenly indexed

With just a quick Google search and some time spent browsing, you can easily fix this difficult problem.

  1. One Version Per URL (URL Canonicalization): where are all of my links going?

The term link equity applies to the value that your site derives from being linked to by another valuable node of knowledge on the web. When someone links to you, it is seen in Google’s eyes as a “vote” for your site in a sense. If you have web pages that can be loaded from multiple URL’s (for example, and, then you could be diluting your link equity big time.

Luckily, a quick fix exists where you can carefully explain to Google that you have multiple URL’s for business or aesthetic reasons (maybe your average customer still types in WWW. to get to a web page), and that you want all of the equity passed along to a single one. Here’s a good explanation of 301 redirects and canonical redirects. Use them.

  1. Can Someone Hand Me The Map? XML Sitemaps for easy indexing

Navigating a dense and complex urban street grid is difficult without a map. Now imagine being a robot trying to navigate a site with thousands of pages. See why having a map could make a big difference? An XML sitemap will help Google’s crawlers understand your site better and index your pages. They are vital to very large e-commerce websites and other big operations. It’s a great idea to have a sitemap, especially if:

  • Your site is huge
  • You have vast archives of content that aren’t interlinked
  • You don’t have a very good internal linking scheme
  • Your site is fairly new

Create a sitemap, include its location in the robot.txt, and keep your Search Console updated regularly. From there, monitor the URL’s submitted frequently through your console and remember that Google limits sitemaps to 10MB and 50,000 URL’s. Sometimes you’ve got to get creative!

Good business is about getting maximum return with minimum effort, especially in SEO, an industry where the fruits of labour sometimes take months or more to ripen. These 3 low-effort/high-reward fixes will boost your SEO in just an afternoon, and you don’t need to be a Google wizard to get them done.